Plenty of positives as Ian Adcock’s youngsters lose in Leicester.
Saturday 2nd July 2022
ST ANDREWS (2) 3 COGENHOE UNITED Reserves (1) 1
(PLAYED AT BEAUCHAMP COLLEGE 3G, OADBY)
Ian Adcock had expected to be in-between the sticks for this game with all five keepers currently training with us unavailable, but Tino Matiyenga stepped in at the last minute to allow the Cooks gaffer to shelter from the pouring rain in the dug-out.
After setting out in plenty of time, eight miles in a queue behind a tractor doubled with a cock-up on the Sat-Nav front, I eventually pulled into the car park with two minutes to spare. However there was no sign of the home team yet and we eventually got underway at 2:08. I should also point at that Jon Wright had once again completely misjudged the weather and wasn’t too far from being soaked to the skin before the game had even kicked-off.
It was a very young Cooks reserve side with only player-coach Sam Harris significantly bringing up the average against a more experienced looking St Andrews team who had finished in mid-table in the UCL D1 last season. The home side had the better of the attacking play early on and had hit the bar with a beauty from 25-yards out, but it was the Cooks who took the lead with just 12 minutes played. Matt Fletcher played a free-kick into the box and picked out Seb-Patrick Meden who finished superbly, steering the ball beyond the keeper on the volley.
We were caught out by a quickly taken free-kick which allowed their Xavier Cover space inside the box on the right and his powerful strike beat Matiyenga at his near post, although the keeper did get his hand to the ball. 1-1 with 18 minutes played, then Andrews took the lead on 34 minutes when Matiyenga could only parry a free-kick and their Matthew Collison followed up to roll the ball home from close range. Guessing he doesn’t score too many as he celebrated with an attempted summersault. Only 4/10 from the judges on this one though. Both sides had plenty of possession, but the experienced home side had edged the first half and duly led into the break.
With the assistant referee on the far side from the dug-outs now running the line carrying an umbrella, we got the second half underway with a slightly surreal feel to it, but on the field Ben Mason was just over with a far post header from a corner. Andrews hit the bar with a 45-yard free-kick that sailed over Matiyenga’s head, but they were on target again on 67 minutes when Jake Smith was given too much space inside the box as he headed home a lovely ball from the impressive no.4.
St Andrews now had a good spell and should have added to their advantage, but Cogenhoe defended well and had luck on their side on a couple of occasions as well, before growing into the game again. A nice move saw Manny Asante make a run through the centre before feeding Shaun Fotso just outside the box and he forced the keeper to dive to his left to save his first time effort. Another excellent move from the Cooks saw Kieron Mobbs do well down the right before playing the ball across the box where Asante met it at the near post, but his luck was out as he turned the ball against the base of the post after beating the keeper to the ball.
Overall this was a very decent performance from the young Cooks team against a team from the UCL D1. Plenty of players still to come in for Adcock too with the holiday season robbing him of a number of options, but today’s performance was very encouraging as the squad gets back into the swing of things.
Watching football inside a cage isn’t the greatest experience at it is, but doing it in the pouring rain is even worse, so thanks for all the players out there today for entertaining us. Good luck to St Andrews for their season to come and thanks for getting this game arranged.
Cooks; 1. Tino Matiyenga 14. Archie Shaw 3. Matt Fletcher 4. Sam Harris 5, Nat Allam 6. Jake Walpole © 7. Ivandro Monteiro 8. Manny Asante 9. Kelvin Gyamfi 10. Ben Mason 11. Seb-Patrick Meden. Subs all used; 2. Kieron Mobbs 12. Nick Fleming 16. Ben Short 17. Shaun Fotso.